You've heard me say (okay, read my thoughts) that you need to be careful when you play in someone else's sandbox as a sex blogger or erotic author. It's why I encourage self-hosting your own website and don't believe you should rely on Facebook alone for all your marketing.
Because there are plenty of sites that can and will shut down a sex blogger and yes, even erotic authors, for being lewd, indecent, "pornographic," and a million other variations of "We don't want your kind here" than you can imagine.
WordPress, Blogger, Facebook, and others have shut down entire accounts for reasons they've never clearly defined, but it involved a mysterious level of "inappropriate" sexual postings.
Always Read the Terms of Service
If you're going to write about sex and attempt to promote your writings in the online world (and of course you are because you want people to read your stuff, buy your book, and click on the links you provide), you need to know who you're working with and what their rules are.
Always read the terms of service (TOS).
Many will use vague language about pornographic, indecent, inappropriate, lewd, lascivious, overly sexual, and the like. When you see that, be careful. Sometimes, like Tumblr, Patreon, and even Etsy, they have rules you have to follow - like marking your account NSFW - which will help keep you safe from being shut down. Sometimes, like PayPal, WordPress, and Blogger, they don't.
These sites can and will arbitrarily decide what "indecent" means and shut you down for it. And no, they aren't required to give you an explanation. Facebook may simply cut off your ability to promote your books (like they've done to me), or you may get reported one time too many for an "inappropriate" image and be completely shut down. Pinterest monitors boards. They'll take down a board (like they did to me) and then they'll threaten to shut you down if you do it again (yep, they did that to me, too). If PayPal thinks you're using your account for purposes it doesn't approve of, it can freeze your account and take away access to whatever money you have in PayPal. Scary stuff.
Support Businesses that Support Your Sexy Writing
In late 2015, I got a nasty surprise when I tried to schedule an email through MailChimp - a site I'd used for weeks with no problems. They decided that my erotic romance novella was an "adult product" and shut down my entire account. My personal theory is that their system was triggered when I scheduled a tweet through the system with hashtags like #BDSM and #EroticRomance. Even though they had been listed as an "adult-friendly" company by others, they clearly weren't.
It was my fault for not reading the TOS carefully before signing up. Not that the language they use is any clearer, but maybe I would have looked elsewhere for an email provider. I might have avoided the problem of porting over all my subscribers from them to my current provider, Feedblitz.
I was so pissed off about being shut down with - to this day - zero response to my questions and explanation that I went on a rant, blogged about the situation, and started a list of adult-friendly tech and online companies.
Because I'm not the only one who has this problem. And because I'd rather give my business to the people who support what I do - or at least don't care what I do as long as I pay them on time.
The list comes from the first blog post and the comments left. I've also added companies that I've worked with since then.
But I need your help making it grow!
Graphic designers, web designers and programmers, advertisers, social site, promotion, and more are welcome on the list. You can add a business you use via the Google form on the page. If you're an adult-friendly business, you can add yourself. Note: I will vet each one submitted and will read the TOS myself before deciding whether to add a company to the list.
As bloggers and authors, we need access to companies who won't hinder what we do - as long as we follow their rules. The best way to help those businesses grow is to support them with our business.
For the bloggers and erotic authors out there, always read the terms of service, and when you're looking for a new promotional product to try online, use this list as a resource to find a company that will get out of your way and let you promote your smut to the world.
Want to add a business to this list? Click here!
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